15:30 Greece receives €7.16 billion, repays €6.25 to ECB, IMF
Greece has initiated the process for the payment of €6.25 billion to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finance ministry officials told Reuters.
Greece is paying €4.2 billion in principal and interest to the ECB due today, and €2.05 billion to the IMF that has been in arrears since 30 June, the officials said. It is also repaying a €500 million loan to the Greek central bank.
The country secured €7.16 billion in bridge financing from the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) last week - enough to see Athens through July - and the opening of negotiations with its lenders on a third bailout programme.
08:38 Europe is throwing away its money
08:12 The Schäuble-Merkel crisis, continued
08:06 Out with the troublemakers
16:18 Yanis Varoufakis: The anti-Marshall Plan
15:22 The big picture (Austria included)
15:00 Dombrovskis hopes for bailout agreement in a few weeks
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said he hoped that a three-year bailout programme could be agreed on with Greece in a few weeks, and added that debt restructuring would be a feature of such talks.
He said that the 28 EU countries had concluded an agreement for a bridge loan to Athens, meaning that €7.16 billon would reach Greece “on time on Monday”.
“Those who say (the) EU lacks solidarity are mistaken,” he said.
The next step is for the Commission to receive a formal mandate, which normally would happen in a matter of minutes. Then it depends how quickly an agreement can be reached. Dombrovskis said he assumed it would take a few weeks, hopefully before the second half of August.
Greece has to redeem government bonds held by the European Central Bank on 20 July, and also in mid-August.
"On debt, I would expect this being a part of negotiations, because this is also something the IMF insists on," Dombrovskis said.
"There is also a clear conclusion of the Euro Summit that the IMF should be a part of the third program. It means that (the) debt sustainability issue is going to be a part of (the) negotiations.”
Dombrovskis also indicated that the working methods with Greece would be similar to the time before the Syriza government took power, and substituted the term “troika” with “the institutions”, meeting in Brussels rather than in Athens.
The normalisation of working methods are part of the deal. We’ll be working more closely, including in Athens, he said.
Non-eurozone countries would be guaranteed twofold. The guarantees would come from SMP profits (Greek funds held by the European Central Bank), and also could be withheld from future EU payments to Greece.
14:10 Merkel beats Schäuble
12:49 Germany in the new European geopolitical map
In an op-ed for EurActiv Greece, Stavros Mavrogenis, a professor of International Law and Political Science in Panteion University, analyses the new geopolitical balance in Europe, and why Berlin missed the chance to accelerate the EU integration process.
“The recent developments in the European geopolitical map demonstrate that Germany has a sphere of influence which looks like the one before the 1st World War. Berlin controls the Baltic countries, to some extend the Eastern European countries as well as Western Balkans. In this sphere also belong the traditional allies in Central Europe.”